Rebuilding After The Devastation Of 2017 Hurricanes

By Shawn Zuver,

Summer of 2017 has just drawn to an end and, unfortunately, it will long be remembered for one of the most devastating hurricane seasons that the U.S. and Caribbean region have ever experienced.

Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose and Maria brought catastrophic winds, torrential sustained rainfall and storm surge flooding. They have caused a tragic loss of life, property and sense of security that may not be fully calculated until years in the future, if ever. We at offer our condolences to the millions of people who were touched by these tragedies.

As someone lives in Findlay, Ohio, situated on the Blanchard River whose waters eventually empty into Lake Erie, I feel a special empathy to those who were struck by this summer's devastating hurricanes. Though not usually accompanied by disastrous winds, our small city has frequently flooded due to heavy rains that are sometimes too much for the river to handle. When this happens, as it did recently in July, travel through the city is typically cut off for two or three days with hundreds of homes flooded and millions of dollars of property is lost. In the past, there has also been loss of life and the lasting emotional damage is incalculable.

So, it's with a great deal of sympathy that I've watched videos of the scores of people who were displaced from their homes this summer in the southern states and the Caribbean islands. It's heartbreaking to watch the mass evacuations of homes and businesses, some which may not be standing when the owners return, whether due to their destruction by ferocious winds or because they were under several feet of water. Extended power outages and shortages of necessities make things even worse.

The clean-up phase is well underway in many areas touched by this year's hurricanes and it will continue for months and years to come, as will a major rebuilding effort. Because this is a website devoted to design and construction, I'd like to point out a few things that may be of interest as building and home owners become involved in the reconstruction process.

While it's true that storm and water damage affect all types of structures with no preference over one or another, it's worth noting that metal construction products like the ones that are showcased here on are often engineered and tested to stand up to strong wind loads, including many that have received stringent Miami-Dade County approvals.

As you're looking for specific products, here are links to suppliers who may be of help...

Metal Roofing Suppliers

Metal Wall Panel Suppliers

Metal Building Systems Suppliers

If you'd like to see some completed projects that might offer design inspiration, here's a wide range of them that may be of interest...

Metal Roofing

Ribbed Metal Wall Panels

Metal Composite Plate And Flat Wall Panels

Insulated Metal Panels (walls and roofs)

Metal Building Systems

RICOWI (Roofing Industry Committee On Weather Issues Inc.) is currently forming its investigation teams to study the effects of this year's hurricanes on a variety of structures. The metal construction industry has obviously seen its products face extreme weather events in the past, and reports are available through RICOWI that show how some of those products fared...

Hurricane Katrina Wind Investigation Report

Hurricanes Charley And Ivan Wind Investigation Report

Hurricane Ike Wind Investigation Report

The destruction caused by the hurricanes themselves may take place in hours or a few days but, sadly, the clean-up and rebuilding will not be quick and it will not be easy. We offer our heartfelt sympathy to the millions of people who were affected by these catastrophic forces of nature. We'd also like to make sure the victims know that the metal construction industry stands ready with quality products, design assistance and a great deal of compassion to help put things back together.

Shawn Zuver is editorial/content director for He has been covering the metal construction industry, including residential and non-residential construction, since 1985. To contact Shawn, email

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